Judge says Roosevelt building residents must move out, but can stay while looking for housing

Only Channel 11 was inside the courtroom Thursday afternoon when a judge told residents and property managers for the Roosevelt building that there’s no deadline yet for moving out.

A deadly fire ravaged the building in December and condemned parts of the building. The fire also exposed asbestos which can be deadly. A judge agrees neighbors have to move out, but they won’t be kicked out until they have the time and resources available to find new housing.

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”It’s very challenging and it’s always been that way when you have a mass displacement event like this, it’s even more challenging,” Lawyer Dan Vitek tells Channel 11.

Neighbors said they came to confront their property managers who they say are harassing and threatening them with text messages and knocks on the door asking when they’ll be moving out and when they’ll hand in their keys, even after a judge ordered no deadline last week.

”She keeps threatening the residents, she’s not following the judge’s order,” neighbor Percetia West told Channel 11. “The judge said, don’t engage with the residents or their belongings. She threaten to cut the elevators off!”

We confronted the property managers before the hearing, but they said “no comment.”

A lawyer for the Roosevelt responded that this was a miscommunication and they’re working around the clock to help find housing for all residents so the building can be remediated.

“We’ve been working around the clock, and I think there was just a miscommunication, but I think everybody is on the same page,” lawyer Johnathan Kamin added. “Everyone’s working towards the same goal.”

Both sides agreed to meet every Friday as the judge oversees this process. Residents must prove that they’re actively seeking new housing since the building is not safe long-term.

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